The Honorable Sonny Montgomery Joins the Heroes Board of Support Our Troops
Support Our Troops, Inc., announces the seminal member of its Heroes Board: The Honorable Sonny Montgomery. - Daytona Beach, FL, January 10, 2006
(Note: Sonny Montgomery passed on May 12, 2006 and his listing is continued posthumously on the Heroes Board of Support Our Troops®).
Support Our Troops, Inc. is proud and honored to announce that the Honorable Sonny Montgomery, has become the first member of its newly-created Heroes Board.
"We are absolutely humbled at Sonny's recognition of what we are building, and his pitching in with us to help build it,"said Hayes Dent, for Support Our Troops, Inc.
For Release 9 a.m. EDT, January 10, 2006
Because Support Our Troops is rapidly becoming a major and permanent national charity, it established the Heroes Board for guidance.
As Support Our Troops Chairman Martin C. Boire puts it, "every successful great project has Mentors who provide invaluable guidance, have charted the course before, know how to avoid the shoals, where lies the fairest wind, and which ships are friendly. These mentors are the people who are able to make good things happen quickly.
From Homers' Odyssey in antiquity to the present, these keystone individuals are those who provide wise advice, build bridges, locate funding, make connections and open doors to make great things happen for good causes. The Heroes Board will comprise just such magnanimous individuals, who will offer their wisdom to assist the greater good, and are shepherding this project to success for the benefit of America's troops and their families.
The directors of Support Our Troops are fortunate enough to benefit from their wisdom, advice and counsel." more Sonny Montgomery's sanction and involvement will enable Support Our Troops to move quickly for the troops and their families. Founded by civilians Support Our Troops, Inc. is a nationwide charity based in Daytona Beach, on a mission to bolster the families of our neighbors who are working daily to protect all the rest of us. SOT is doing this through the sale of DMV-issued official Support Our Troops specialty license plates in each state, an apparel and accessory line, various patriotic merchandise (stickers, pins, flags, ribbons and so forth) both online and at retail venues across the United States, and most recently, through the of Support Our Troops Custom Harley-Chopper 2006 Raffle.
Funds from these activities will help keep the troops' families intact while their parent(s) are engaged in protecting our families, whether it is a peacekeeping mission, a war, or a hurricane, flood, or other disaster. It is going to help pay for education, medical, home needs, emergency transportation, and the like -- the kinds of things that dad or mom could do if they were home. Sonny expressed his decision to help build the program thusly:
"I am quite impressed with the concept of Support Our Troops, Inc. and the rapid progress that has been made on the foundation's stated mission. I believe the philosophy, guiding principles and method of operation that has been laid out is right on target and will certainly prove to be of great benefit to the type of military families it targets to support."
Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery was born in Meridian, Mississippi on August 5, 1920. He attended public schools in Meridian.
His father died when Sonny was about 12 years old and he remained in the public schools through the ninth grade. One of his aunts saw much promise in him and provided so that he could attend and graduate from The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. From McCallie, Sonny enrolled at Mississippi State College (now Mississippi State University) located in Starkville, Mississippi where his great grandfather, W.B. Montgomery had provided some land for a portion of the original campus and had served as one of the first trustees of the school.
Sonny Montgomery was well known on campus and excelled in every endeavor, including ROTC, President of Student Government and membership in Kappa Alpha Order. For Release 9 a.m. EDT, January 10, 2006 more Graduating in 1943, Sonny was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served on active duty in the European Theater, where he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and was awarded the Bronze Star w/V devise.
After WW II, he returned to Meridian and engaged in business and was a leader in establishing a Mississippi National Guard unit in Meridian. He was later called to active duty with the National Guard during the Korean Conflict. He then was elected to the State Senate and served for 10 years, never missing a roll call vote. In 1967, G.V.
Sonny Montgomery was sworn into the U.S. Congress as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. On that day, he and George H.W. Bush began their congressional service as freshmen, standing side by side while taking the oath and have remained very close friends ever since. During his thirty years of congressional service, 1967 - 1997,
Sonny became the Champion of the Veterans of this country and was instrumental in the establishment of the volunteer armed forces through his untiring efforts to revamp and enhance veteran educational benefits through what came to be known as the Montgomery G.I. Bill. In joining the Board of Advisors, Sonny wrote,
"Support Our Troops has a truly bold vision of good things planned for our troops and their families over the next century, and I wholeheartedly endorse these efforts and encourage others to work with you and the board as well. This is a civilian organization involved in a major effort to forever put the civilians of our great nation behind their troops. I think it is a healthy thing for civilian run organizations to be openly behind their troops, because such an effort cannot be accomplished by government agencies, veteran groups or even the military itself with the same efficiency, responsiveness, and enthusiasm as a private organization can provide. Civilians are best suited to motivating other civilians for the sake of our troops and veterans. Support Our Troops, Inc., is well-organized, includes veterans in its management, and I am well acquainted with the trustworthiness of people in it."
After his retirement from the U.S. Congress in 1997, Sonny remained in Washington to continue to work on Capitol Hill in the area of national defense. He also For Release 9 a.m. EDT, January 10, 2006 more retired from the Mississippi National Guard at the rank of Major General. In 2004, he retired to his hometown, Meridian, Mississippi.
On November 9, 2005, G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, in a ceremony at The White House --the highest award that can be received by a civilian -- a fitting tribute to a Great American. Sonny summarized his motivation in joining the Support Our Troops Heroes Board as follows:
"I believe that in the end SOT's programs will augment the Montgomery G.I. Bill and other such military assistance packages in a very substantial and flexible way."
And he concluded with this prediction and a personal call to action:
"In my opinion, the accomplishment of the mission of Support Our Troops will also do tremendous good for those who protect this great nation. It is my hope that Legislators all across America will do everything they can to help Support Our Troops accomplish its innovative goals, and that civilians and the great businesses and corporations of America will help Support Our Troops build a truly great national charity for our troops and their families."
"What a truly great man", said Martin Boire, "the veteran's veteran, the man who works tirelessly to look out for those who look out for us. And for him to put in with us on this great American adventure calls us to an even higher level of service and honor. We are thankful and humbled that this titan of soldiers' rights and benefits recognized what we are creating and volunteered to help us in make it happen for America's troops and their families. With men like him, we can only do great things, and we look forward to working with him."
Sonny Montgomery's acceptance letter is attached.
Learn more about Support Our Troops, inc. at www.SupportOurTroops.org.
For Release 9 a.m. EDT, January 10, 2006 more Honorable G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Meridian, MS,
Postscript May, 2006 "" Sonny passed on May 12, 2006.
Death of G. V. Sonny Montgomery A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America President and Mrs. Bush
Saddened by Death of Sonny Montgomery As a mark of respect for the memory of G. V. Sonny Montgomery, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that on the day of his interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
For Release 9 a.m. EDT, January 10, 2006